#6 Half-Life played on PC, released 1998
This game felt special right from the opening scene. The first game with a true cinematic opening, also the first game I played in surround sound. I played the opening sequence 3 times before moving on. Arriving at Black Mesa and getting on with daily business was completely different from what came before it. Getting briefly transported to the alien world during the malfunction was a great glimpse of what was to come.
Level design and in game story telling were revolutionary for it's time. So were the realistic environments that continue on in a believable sequence. No more running to the end of level switch. The gameplay is still great by todays standards with the enemy soldiers working together to flush you out with grenades.
The game is filled with all kinds of great moments taken from movies, like falling out of an airduct after it gets riddled with holes or ducking underwater to avoid the fire blast from a bomb.
Besides from being the best single player fps experience it is also my all time favorite multiplayer fps. We used to play this pretty much daily at the end of the workday on the office lan network. It never got old thanks to the near unlimited supply of great user made levels and mods.
One of my best friends made a level of the office we were working in at the time. Taking out a double barrel shotgun or a crowbar and tear up the office at the end of a tough programming day is the best way to relieve stress.
The original multiplayer levels were favorites as well. Small levels quickly turned into bloodstained messes. Another great feature, the game remembered a whole lot of the carnage before it started to fade out again.
The energy weapon was one of our favorites. Useful to shoot someone hiding in the bathroom straight through the wall, or to use the reverse jump to launch yourself from ground onto a roof top. Trip laser wire bombs could be attached to all sorts of interesting places at different heights and angles. Great fun to chase someone into your pre-made door triggered trap.
Sound design was excellent. I still hear all the sound effects playing in my mind like it was yesterday. Playing in LAN was the best since you could instantly recognize were people were by the sound coming from all the different computers.
An awesome game which set the standard for modern fps games. Often copied and imitated but never completely matched in the total package that HL1 offered.